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What Mushrooms are Dangerous for Dogs?
With a wet and rainy season almost behind us, keep an eye out for potentially-fatal mushrooms and fungus when walking your dogs.
by Benjamin H., on 2/22/23
With much of the U.S. facing severe winter weather in the coming days, dog owners across the country will lament the fact that they may have to skip a few days of walks for their furry friends. While the rain and increased snowpack will be welcome news since much of the country is still dealing with droughts, one outcome of this moist weather that people don’t consider is the growth of unfamiliar plants, mushrooms and fungus. Of most concern are the mushrooms and fungus that can be potentially fatal to curious and hungry pets.
The American Kennel Club has issued a list of common mushrooms that are poisonous for dogs. However, we’ll get a few of the easy questions you may have out of the way first:
Can dogs eat mushrooms?
Most mushrooms that are sold in packaging for human consumption are OK for dogs to eat, but be weary of serving them straight off of your dish. Most human recipes with store bought mushrooms (like a portobello, crimini mushroom, baby bella mushroom) call for onions, garlic and other ingredients that can be toxic to dogs. It’s best to serve these edible mushrooms as-is, but as always, please route questions to your family veterinarian before taking this culinary jump for your dog as to completely avoid the chance of mushroom poisoning.
Can’t dogs smell toxins and poison?
This is a common myth - dogs actually cannot prevent themselves from eating potentially poisonous mushrooms by scent alone. In fact, their curiosity and hunger may take over, causing them to shove aside doubt and instinctually chew and eat fungus and other wild mushroom varieties, leading to potential mushroom poisoning.
Don’t they use dogs to find truffles?
Yes, it’s true! We’ve all seen those adorable videos of dogs in Italy searching for these magic truffles. However…truffles are not mushrooms, but spores! A wild mushroom grows above ground, while a spore (like truffles) grows underground. They are often confused because they are both part of the fungi family. And before you ask, truffles are OK for dogs to eat!
What mushrooms are poisonous for dogs to eat?
According to the AKC, these are the most common danger mushrooms that can lead to mushroom poisoning for dogs:
Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides)
Deadly Galerina (Galerina marginata)
Jewel Deathcap (Amanita gemmata)
Deadly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)
False Morel (Gyromitra spp.)
Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms
What should I do if my dog ingests poisonous mushrooms?
Common symptoms and clinical signs of poisonous mushroom ingestion can include vomiting, salivating, lethargy, weakness, abdominal pain, liver failure and even death. They may treat with medicines, but may also induce vomiting in order to prevent further damage to the dog's organs. As always, we recommend contacting your veterinarian or local animal poison control center so they can assess and treat ingestion of poisonous mushrooms immediately.
Refer to your local pet poison helpline, 24 hour emergency veterinarian or family veterinary medicine expert if you have any further questions on the diet needs of your pet.